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Scheme to Defraud in FL: What You Must Know

Posted on : May 9, 2018, By:  Leah H. Mayersohn, Esq.

Understanding a scheme to defraud in Florida — if you have recently been accused of a scheme to defraud in Florida, it is imperative that you retain experienced legal representation as soon as possible. There are three primary elements associated with a violation of Florida Statute 817.034, also known as a scheme to defraud. The first is that the accused person must have engaged in an ongoing or systematic course of conduct, with the intent to obtain property or defraud one or more persons, through fraudulent representations, pretenses or willful misrepresentation.

Organized fraud is punished very severely, because it is committed when a person actually obtains another person’s property associated with a scheme to defraud. This is distinct from the allegations associated with communications fraud. Communications fraud is committed when an individual communicates with a person by telephone, the mail or electronic means with the intent to obtain property fraudulently. The penalties for organized fraud are based on the value of the property that was actually obtained during a scheme to defraud. The penalties can — the penalties are associated with whether or not the property involved was less than $20,000, valued at between $20,000 and $50,000 or valued at $50,000 or more.

Organized fraud of $50,000 or more can carry thousands of dollars in fines and up to 30 years in prison or probation. These serious consequences associated with organized fraud make it all the more important to hire an experienced criminal defense attorney immediately.

Any serious criminal allegation holds the potential for you to face penalties including time behind bars. If you want to avoid these situations, it’s best to talk directly with a lawyer who will help you protect your life going forward.